Community Justice and Public Safety

Commentary

The impact of Child Protective Services (CPS) on families, children, and communities is a sensitive topic. When a child's health, safety, or welfare is endangered, CPS may ask the court to order the child be placed in foster care. Out-of-home placements disproportionately affect families with low incomes and families of color. For these reasons, CPS systems across the country are looking for ways to provide support earlier on to reduce racial disparities in removals and keep children with their families.

Commentary
Housing in the United States is in bad shape. There are not enough units, and where there are units, they are often not affordable, and not in the right places. These problems are a result of the U.S. housing system, which is a complex set of people, organizations, laws, and conditions that interact to produce our current housing arrangements. This system has created a chronic shortage and affordability gap and persistently inequitable, segregated, and unhealthy living conditions for millions of Americans. 
Commentary

Pay for success sparks innovation in the public sector while limiting risk to taxpayers by ensuring the government only pays for services that are effective. Importantly, it can bring financing to interventions for populations that are often forgotten, neglected, or deemed less worthy of taxpayer support, including people experiencing chronic homelessness.

Are Cities and Counties Ready to Use Racial Equity Tools to Influence Policy?

Amid a growing national conversation on equity and social justice, city and county governments are using tools to identify racial and ethnic disparities in their communities. These insights can then inform the development and implementation of laws and policies designed to minimize disparities and maximize positive impacts on racial and ethnic minorities.

Building Upstream Interventions to Keep Families Together in Hennepin County, MN

Like many communities in the U.S., the Twin Cities metropolitan area has become increasingly vocal around social justice—exposing and documenting local poverty, inequity, and discrimination. Amid this wave, Hennepin County is actively seeking out population health policy opportunities to engage high-risk families and children, with the goal of developing and implementing upstream, cross-sector interventions to preserve unified, healthy families and avoid out of home placements (i.e., foster care).

Awaiting Trial: The Health Effects of Pretrial Detention

Each day in the U.S. there are approximately half a million individuals detained while awaiting trial. This high rate of pretrial detention may be due both to the widespread use of monetary bail, and to the limited financial resources of most defendants. Less than 50 percent of defendants in the U.S. are able to post bail even when it is set at $5,000 or less. While some defendants are detained for only a few days, others are detained for the entire period prior to the final dispositions of their cases.

Commentary

Kacie Dragan of our NYU Wagner School Research Hub writes about collaborating with local criminal justice and public health agencies to better understand the health needs of justice-involved New Yorkers.